Sunday, October 09, 2005
Critters and Driving Noah's Ark
I was coming home yesterday and began a series of encounters with nature: As I hit Stag Hill Rd, a snapper turtle was crossing the roadway. I gave him a wide berth and then about a 1/4 mile in, I slow down for a turn and there is a raccoon, I stop and we stare at each other for a moment and then I toss him a piece of my bagel. He picks it up and for a moment looks like he is going to throw it back at me. The little ingrate instead drops it. I move on up the hill. Up near the top I see my neighbor cleaning up his front yard. It looks like a bomb went off. Apparently a bear got into his garbage. The small shed he keeps it in was in splinters. (Got to be one big assed bear) As I turn onto Maple a deer runs into the woods behind my house. As I exit the van in my driveway, I'm welcomed by a rabbit. I get in the house and look out back and the cats are glued to the windows. A bunch of wild turkey teasing them. I was tempted to get the camera out, but... Well I just wasn't moved to shoot. As much as I love seeing these critters, I have absolutely no ambition to photograph them. It made me think of a comment by one of my students about photographing a fox that frequents the area. Honestly the only foxes I'm interested in shooting ate the two legged variety.
I slept all day and go to work that night and it's pouring out. As I pass the lake, there is a migration of tree frogs crossing the road. I do my best not to squish them. Then it gets real interesting. I've never seen such heavy rain up there. About halfway down the hill, (The really steep part) the road starts to look funny. That's because it's not there anymore. It's under an inch or two of water, mud and rocks. I begin to skid and head towards the woods. I've had some experience with snow and ice and even fog but never streaming water and what I can only call a mud slide. But it works the same way, pump the brakes really easy and steer into the skid. The van shuddered and groaned a bit but stayed on what appeared to be the road. It took me a while to descend, but I got to the highwaywithout further incident.
I love living on the mountain. But got to refine my respect for mother nature.